Hongkong Land posts record profit, despite protests
Property developer Hongkong Land has reported a 4-per-cent rise in underlying profit to a record US$1.076 billion for last year – but warned that the advent of the coronavirus outbreak will dent results this year.
“The group’s results in 2020 will be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the performance of development properties in the Chinese mainland and the group’s retail properties expected to be most affected,” said chairman Ben Keswick.
“The extent of the impact will be dependent on the duration and geographic extent of the outbreak. Stable contributions are expected from the group’s other businesses, although there are expected to be higher financing costs,” he said.
In Hong Kong, where the company’s high-profile retail portfolio is centred, beneath its Central office towers, all store spaces were fully occupied and delivered “a respectable performance over the Christmas period” following several challenging months for the retail market in the city relating to anti-extradition bill protests.
“Despite positive base rental reversions, however, the average retail rent in 2019 decreased to HK$222 per sqft from HK$233 per sqft in 2018, due to temporary rent relief and a decline in turnover rent,” the company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, planning of the group’s 49-per-cent owned prime mixed-use retail and Grade A office development in Bangkok’s CBD, a partnership with local Central Group, continues on schedule. The development is expected to complete in 2025.